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Delhi odd-even vehicle scheme: Heavy fine likely to deter violators, say officials

The government is examining three different legislations — the Motor Vehicle Act, the Environment (Protection) Act, 1986 and the Air (Prevention and Control of Pollution) Act, 1981.

Written by MAYURA JANWALKAR , Sarah Hafeez | New Delhi | Updated: December 11, 2015 5:02 am
Delhi odd-even, Delhi odd-even policy, delhi cars odd even, delhi news, delhi pollution, india news, india pollution The traffic police has told the Delhi government that no law has to be amended to penalise violators as it already has the power to levy a fine under existing laws. Oinam Anand

The Delhi government may have zeroed in on the legislation under which it will penalise those who violate its odd-even number scheme, which will come into effect on January 1. The traffic police has told the Delhi government that no law has to be amended to penalise violators as it already has the power to levy a fine under existing laws, said sources.

The government is examining three different legislations — the Motor Vehicle Act, the Environment (Protection) Act, 1986 and the Air (Prevention and Control of Pollution) Act, 1981.

Sources indicated that while no decision has been arrived at on the penalty, it is likely to be a heavy fine. Challans requiring prosecution and court appearances will be done away with. The fine, however, will have to be hefty in order to act as a deterrent, added the sources.

Discussions over the law under which the odd-even scheme will work, dominated meetings held by Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal on Wednesday.

The quantum of penalty and the nature of prosecution was also discussed.

Kejriwal held a slew of meetings with stakeholders such as the transport department, traffic police, Delhi Transport Corporation and the Delhi Metro Rail Corporation on Tuesday. Meetings were also held by transport minister Gopal Rai, head of the steering committee for tackling the pollution problem Satyendar Jain and minister Kapil Mishra.

Sources said ministers and transport officials have been weighing their legal options for the implementation of the odd-even rules.

“Everyone was worried that the Delhi Motor Vehicle Rules coming would come under the Motor Vehicles Act, which is a central act. Amendments to this Act can be made only by the Centre and there is a slim chance the BJP will go ahead to help the Kejriwal government,” said a government official.

However, constitutional expert Sanjay Hegde said the government could pass an amendment to the Rules by an executive order.

The power of enforcement and quantum of penalty or prosecution also lies with the state government because the Rules are delegated legislation, he said. Therefore, the Centre does not need to step in at all, he added.

Otherwise, Section 115 of the law gives a window of one month for restrictions to be imposed on vehicles. “Power to restrict the use of vehicles — The state government or any authority authorised in this behalf by the state, if satisfied that it is necessary in the interest of public safety or convenience…(may) prohibit or restrict… the driving of motor vehicles or of any specified class or description… Provided that where any prohibition or restriction under this section is to remain in force for not more than one month”.

A source said the government was also considering the Air (Prevention & Control of Pollution) (Union Territories) Rules, 1983.

Sources said the Rules are enforced and overseen by the Delhi Pollution Control Committee. The environment secretary has powers to direct any law enforcing body to carry out prosecutions. “We can direct traffic police to prosecute offenders and violators under this Act. Police can issue challans which would be sent to court. The quantity of fines would be decided by the court according to each case,” said an official.

Government officials were also in two minds over the quantum of fines and nature of prosecution.

“If the penalty is small, like it is for other traffic violations, the odd-even rule will be violated by many. But if it is set very high, the effect it will have on citizens and the anger it might spark is a matter of concern as well,” said the official.

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  1. C
    Concerned Indian
    Dec 12, 2015 at 10:33 am
    Kejriwal's - Odd Even NAUTANKI - IIT-Kanpur study to be released shows that penger cars are responsible for only 2.5% of the pollution in Delhi (total vehicle pollution comprises 25% and cars are 10% of that). So this decision will only address this 2.5% of the total Delhi pollution," said Vishnu Mathur, director-general, SIAM. (TOI 12/12/15).
    1. Hemen Parekh
      Dec 11, 2015 at 3:10 am
      A NATION OF NAYSAYERS ? Arvind Kejriwal wants to conquer the pollution in Delhi He is asking Delhi motorists to drive their cars on alternate days , depending on their car number , ending with odd or even number Some ( knowledgeable ? ) people are saying : " This is a hasty decision . It won't work . You have not analyzed the situation properly . There will be many problems . People will be inconvenienced ... " But hardly any of these critics have any concrete / constructive / viable / near-term solution to offer ! Many of these very people have been in power during the past 40 years , when they chose to ignore the problem May be they hoped that the problem will disappear by simply ignoring ! Like an ostrich hiding its head under the sand ! Or , maybe they got " Analysis Paralysis " ( - a chronic disease , rampant among our Policy Makers ! ) Sure , there will be some problems / inconveniences But none as serious as pollution engulfing Delhi None will be insurmountable Each will bring its own solution ! Arvind , Do listen to people to uncover practical solutions But , as Mussolini once said : " If you want to dig a well in the village , you should consult the villagers But if you have to declare a war against an enemy , you are on your own " And , right now pollution is the biggest enemy of Delhi-walas ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------ hemen parekh 10 Dec 2015 B2BmessageBlaster
      1. I
        Dec 11, 2015 at 9:28 am
        What if one needs to travel outside Delhi (by car) for one night? Say travel on Monday & come back on Tuesday? What will that person do in this situation? Will he need to take two cars or stay an extra night at the other location outside Delhi?
        1. S
          Dec 14, 2015 at 9:44 am
          here is a list of options to commute economically after odd-even rule in delhi